Bedrock and soil geochemistry influence the content of chemical elements in wild edible mushrooms (Morchella group) from South Italy (Sicily)

Maria Grazia Alaimo, Alessandro Saitta, Elia Ambrosio


Chemical elements in the samples of wild edible mushrooms of the Morchella group collected from different unpolluted Sicilian sites was analyzed by the ICP-MS (method) to detect the content of their minerals and determine whether soil geology and geochemistry can influence the chemical composition in fungi. Results showed that the mushroom samples mainly contained a high concentration of K and P and a wide variety of minor and trace elements (V, Mo, Pb, Ce, Cs, Zr), including heavy metals. Statistical analysis showed that the mushrooms differed in their content of minor and trace elements based on the geological/geographic site of origin. Comparison with other studies showed differences in the content detected in the Sicilian morels with those collected from other geographical sites. Conversely, different fungal species collected from similar geological sites in Sicily showed different patterns of accumulation of the elements confirming that bioconcentration in fungi is species- and site-dependent.


fungi; ICP-MS analysis; mineral content; accumulation factor; site geology

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